Although three fourths of the lineup of desert rock stoner band Kyuss have spent the last two years touring as Kyuss Lives! without incident, that came to a crashing halt yesterday (9) when Joshua Homme and Scott Reeder filed suit against vocalist John Garcia and drummer Brant Bjork. The federal lawsuit alleges trademark infringement and consumer fraud by the band, allegedly over them trying to steal the name “Kyuss,” as the statement from Homme and Reeder below says.
“It sucks. To think we went to a meeting in January solely to help them with their request to continue Kyuss Lives! With open arms, we made every attempt to help them continue Kyuss Lives! respectfully. Only to discover while they looked us in the eye, Kyuss Lives! management and band had filed federal documents in 2011 in an attempt to steal the name Kyuss.
This is desperately what we were trying to avoid. It’s a sad day for us and for John – but most of all for the fans. What a needless mess.”
This is unfortunate on all accounts. While Homme played guitar for all of Kyuss’ original run from 1991-1995, Bassist Scott Reeder didn’t join the band until after their sophomore album, Blues for the Red Sun, was already recorded, but played on the band’s two final major label records. Reeder even filled in for Nick Oliveri, whose legal problems kept him from venturing out of the country. Reeder had filled in for the Canadian dates of Kyuss Lives!’ tour last year, as well as the European dates. He’d even performed with the band during their Los Angeles show this past November. It’s also of some interest that Oliveri isn’t named in the suit.
At the end of the day, it’s sad to see a lawsuit filed over semantics. Kyuss really never got beyond cult status in their original incarnation. Granted, it was a large cult, but arguably anyone that considered themselves a Kyuss fan was discerning enough to learn that Homme wasn’t playing with the band on their tour as Kyuss Lives!, regardless of what their name is. Considering the band was also known as Sons of Kyuss in an earlier incarnation, the name isn’t really that important in the grand scheme of things. So it’s definitely a bummer that the Sons of Kyuss lineup (which also includes guitarist Bruno Fevery) would get hung up such a minor detail. Considering the band was born out of joyously playing parties in the desert with their amps powered by generators, it’s a shame that the next time they’ll see each other is in a court room.